Author’s Note: Before we get started I want to say that any and all sexual contact on the Playa should be consensual. Just like in the default world, NO MEANS NO! If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, please check in. If it’s “cool” and you feel that each person consents, then let them party on.
One of the most complex and exciting aspects of being human is sexuality. The Playa is a most thrilling place to explore and engage one’s personal view of sexuality. Many flock to Burning Man for life changing experiences; often these impact not only one’s view of sexuality on the playa but in the default world as well. Each year the Census Department collects data that tries to assess what turns the citizens of Black Rock City on by asking the question “I’am sexually attracted to…”. The answers to this question have generated data that is based on people’s assertion and definition of what attractiveness is.
Human sexuality is diverse. Omitting the biological factor of sexual drive, which is there to ensure reproduction, we can jump to the emotional and physical states that Burners may encounter on the playa. This can include sexual intercourse and sexual contact in all its multiple forms and acts. These emotional and physical states create the bonds that endear and connect sexual partners to one another. These bonds are usually expressed through deep feelings or overpowering emotions.
The eros of the playa or the opportunity to explore one’s sexual can be hyper-accelerated at the Burn. Discovering the enduring personal quality that inclines people to feel romantic and/or attracted to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender is one of the profound and life changing events that can happen by spending time Playa-side.
One of the key observations of this data is the spectrum of physical attraction people innately feel. 2013 data indicates that 51% of the overall population in Black Rock City were sexually attracted to members of the opposite sex. By gender this was 64 % for males, 34% for females and for those in a fluid state of sexuality, 17%. 33% of the overall population was mostly attracted to members of the opposite sex. By gender this was 21% for males, 50% for females and 26% for for fluid (also considered neither sex). The percentage for those attracted to both sexes equally in the overall population was 6%. By gender it was 2% for males, 11% for females and 34% for those labeling themselves as sexually fluid.
The data also points out a factor that is observable in the general population which is that women have, in general, a more flexible sexual attraction than men (i.e., that men are more highly polarized between opposite- or same-sex preferences than partially to both).
Burning man can be an opportunity to explore one’s sexual attraction, but it is also important to make decisions that you can live with, and following the rules of safe sex and sexual consent are even more applicable to ensure that an exciting time does not lead to unwanted advances and negative experiences.
Source and Cited Material Links:
Written by: Crow
Edited by: Wendi Corbin Goulette